The Sheep of Kephas

For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2017-05-21

Here is Bulletin_2017-05-21

1. Congratulations: Along with our Pastor, we extend our sincere congratulations to the First Communicants and our Confirmandi. We regret that we could not attend the Confirmation and have the opportunity to meet our new Bishop during his first official visit to St. Peter’s.

2. Rumor Control: There are rumors running rampant through the Parish and out in the barn of our grand 1.25 acre estate that someone else attempted to attend the Confirmation. We here at The Sheep of Kephas blog would like to lay that rumor to rest once and for all. Unfortunately, we can not because there exists no evidence or verifiable sources to testify one way or the other. We requested that the Department of Justice establish a Special Counsel to investigate the matter, but they said that their hands were already full with other similarly important investigations. So, we leave it with you, dear readers and anyone who may have been there. Did Peter Cottontail really try to meet the Bishop and get his autograph? My wife tells me that the last time she visited the parish she thought she smelled the pungent aroma of Easter eggs and Peeps. The only thing we can say for sure is the magnificent pastel colors still remain behind the altar. The whereabouts of Mr. Cottontail remains uncertain.

3.Where is Your Pastor?: The flyer in this week’s bulletin finally and formally announces what we reported to you in For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2017-04-30. At least on the evening of Sunday, May 28th, you will know where to find our Pastor.

For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2017-05-14

Here is Bulletin_2017-05-14

As St. Peter’s bulletins clearly fail to say, “There will be no daily Mass on Saturday.” Three years ago there was a good reason why that was so, but now there is no reason – there just is no daily Mass on Saturday.

So some from St. Peter’s went to St. John the Baptist in Front Royal and others went to St. John the Evangelist in Warrenton. Today, we were with the exiles in Warrenton.

100 years ago today, Mary first appeared to three humble children in Fatima, Portugal. My parents and teachers told me the story. My Mom (happy Mother’s Day, Mom) told my wife the story. We have told our children the story. Our children have told our grandchildren the story. I have my Father’s Rosary. My son will have my Rosary. I fully expect that my grandson will have my son’s Rosary. And all of these Rosaries have been used, are being used, and will continue to be used.

My wife is a convert. My wife is the one who reminds us all – pray the Rosary and do penance.

The exiles in Front Royal and the exiles in Warrenton were told the very same story today at Mass, and all were exhorted to pray the Rosary and do penance. But you and I both know that the message of Fatima is more than just a story. The event was real, the message is real, and the exhortation to pray the Rosary and do penance is serious and essential. The Mother of God is pointing to her Son Who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. And she let’s us know that she will protect us.

We thank the pastors of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist for having daily Mass on Saturday so that we can offer our prayers on Mary’s Day.

Meanwhile, as St. Peter’s bulletins clearly fail to say, “There will be no daily Mass on Saturday.”

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

 

 

For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2017-05-07

Here is Bulletin_2017-05-07

Vocations: This week, there is a very good brochure in the bulletin on vocations in the Diocese of Arlington. It provides an article “Called by Name – The Vocation Story of Bishop Michael Burbidge” that gives some insights into the Bishop’s vocation and it also reminds us of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, May 7, 2017. If you have the time, check out the link to Diocese of Arlington Vocations, and please remember to pray for priestly and religious vocations on May 7th and every day.

Perhaps it’s time to MoveOn.org: Whether you read the Pastor’s Piece in the bulletin or go to St. Peter’s “official” Website, you will find parishioners being invited “to Support Catholic Social Justice Principles”. Father let’s you know that he is speaking with great authority when he states:

On April 11, 2014, Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde and Richmond Bishop Francis DiLorenzo called for the expansion of Medicaid, noting that “everyone has the right to life, and second, healthcare is a right – not a privilege – that flows from the right to life itself.”

Having established this fact, our Pastor then leads his flock to our old friends at http://www.s-a-l-t.org/. If you don’t remember our last encounter with them, please refer to Rules and Tools for Radical Pastors #15 – Take it with a Grain of S-A-L-T. But Father is not content with leading his flock to that social justice S-A-L-T lick. No, now he asks each of us to sign the petition and to do that you have to check in with that fine upstanding catholic organization MoveOn.org Petitions.

What? You say that MoveOn.org isn’t Catholic or even catholic? Well, why would Father invoke the names of Arlington’s former Bishop Paul Loverde and Richmond’s Bishop Francis DiLorenzo if this petition and the people running it weren’t Catholic or at least catholic? Why would he lead his flock to a progressive, political group rather than a bona fide spiritually based group?  – – Why indeed?

Now, when we follow the link to the petition (here), we can see a different link – the link between S-A-L-T and MoveOn.org. They work together to achieve their common objectives. After nearly three years with our Pastor, we think it is obvious that there is another type of link, perhaps we should call it a “spiritual bond”. Yes, there appears to be a spiritual bond joining the shepherd/social justice warrior (our Pastor) and S-A-L-T and progressives of the type that associate themselves with MoveOn.org.

[Among the 148 people who have already signed the petition you will find many of our Pastor’s associates, including the person who set up St. Peter’s “official” Website.]

Yes, after nearly three years with our Pastor, perhaps it’s time to MoveOn.org.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2017-04-30

Here is Bulletin_2017-04-30

1. Communion Services: Thursday May 4th and Friday May 5th there will be Communion Services. In addition to two less Masses this coming week, St. Peter’s parishioners lose an opportunity for the Sacrament of Penance and First Friday Mass.

2. Where is Your Pastor?: Keeping track of our Pastor is a full time job. His multitude of side interests take him to strange places – sometimes for days at a time. The month of May (the month of Our Lady and the beginning of the 100th anniversary of her apparitions to the three children at Fatima) will see our Pastor exercising his thespian talents. He will be playing a part in the Republic For Which We Stand. “The premiere will take place at Henry’s outdoor Stone Hill Amphitheater in the beautiful countryside of Rappahannock County Virginia.” Interestingly, the notice informs us that our Pastor will be playing the part of a priest.

Image result for father richard rohr enneagram

3. Think twice, maybe even think thrice and then – don’t go: Our Pastor asks us to join him for the Monday Book Discussion:

Join us Mondays at 9:15 a.m.-10:15a.m. to discuss our new book, FALLING UPWARD. A Spirituality For The Two Halves Of Life, by Fr. Richard Rohr. We meet every Monday, 9:15am-10am. Come when you can.

Above you will see some of Fr. Richard Rohr’s fine work with the ENNEAGRAM. My wife and are sure that’s somewhere in scripture, but we haven’t found it yet. While making your decision to attend the Monday Book Discussion and trying to find the ENNEAGRAM in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, read Catholic Priest Receives & Distributes Episcopal Communion. If you do decide to attend, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

 

 

 

 

For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2017-04-23

Here is Bulletin_2017-04-23

“Pro Multis” – “For All” – Was it a simple mistake? Once again, we must approach today’s commentary with Christian charity and restraint. Today at the 8:30 AM Mass at St. Peter’s, our Pastor used the following words during the Eucharistic Prayer:

Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for all for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me

Whether by accident or on purpose, our Pastor substituted the word “all” for the word “many“.

Most of you who read this blog are well aware of the history and controversy surrounding this particular phrase, So, there is no need to discuss at length the significance of this substitution. So, let’s look at some facts:

Fact 1: There is a number of priests in the Church in America that are dissatisfied with the current translation of the prayers of the Mass. One group of about 1,200 priests, the Association of US Catholic Priests (AUSCP) has instituted a working group (Roman Missal Translation Concerns) to promote their dissatisfaction with the following stated purpose:

To collect and voice the complaints of priests and laity about the awkward grammar and diction of the new Roman Missal’s “English translation” so as to move the USCCB Committee for Divine Worship to hear the concern and take steps to improve the texts used for our most important liturgical prayer.

Fact 2: Several of our recent posts have shown the evidence that our Pastor is probably a member of the AUSCP and certainly attended at least one of their assemblies.

Fact 3: During Preface 1 of Easter used in today’s Mass, Father changed the phrase “to laud you” to “to praise you”. During the same preface, he changed the phrase “Therefore, overcome with paschal joy” to “Filled with paschal joy”. These cannot be mistakes in reading – they had to be deliberate.

Was the substitution of “for all” a simple mistake? In Christian charity we would like to suppose that it was. Yet, barely a minute before the substitution, Father had deliberately changed two phrases in the preface. The frequency with which these substitutions occur at any given Mass at St. Peter’s is distressing. And today it was far more than that.

The words of the Mass belong to the Church. They do not belong to our Pastor. If the use of the phrase “for all” was deliberate it should be stopped and never ever occur again. If the use of the phrase “for all” was a mistake, then Father should consider paying very close attention to what he is doing while at the altar – it is his duty as a priest.

 

 

 

 

Rules and Tools For Radical Pastors #21 – Be Careful Whom You Choose for Friends

Dear and gentle reader, we will speak softly and charitably on this evening’s topic – The Gift of the Priestly Vocation. This document, promulgated by the Congregation for the Clergy on December 8, 2016, makes a clear point in a respectful and charitable way:

c) Persons with Homosexual Tendencies
199. In relation to persons with homosexual tendencies who seek admission to Seminary, or discover such a situation in the course of formation, consistent with her own Magisterium, “the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture’. Such persons, in fact, find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women. One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies”.
Yesterday, the National Catholic Reporter saw fit to publicize a criticism of The Gift of the Priestly Vocation in a story entitled US priests’ group calls Vatican vocations document ‘insulting’. The “US priests’ group” was the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests (AUSCP). Although the National Catholic Reporter and other outlets have quoted some passages from the AUSCP statement, we have not been able to locate the original statement.
Here are two quotes from the statement, reportedly “authored by the association’s 12-member leadership team”, so that you can see why the AUSCP feels justified in criticizing the document from the Congregation for the Clergy:
“We find it also unfounded and insulting,” the group said, adding that the clergy congregation document “implies that ordained priests with a homosexual orientation who serve the Church with distinction ‘find themselves in a situation that gravely hinders them from relating correctly to men and women.’ “
“If the Congregation for the Clergy document had stated that heterosexual and homosexual persons who are living chaste lives can be admitted to ordination to the priesthood it would have been more respectful and inclusive. The issue for discernment is whether the applicant or candidate has integrated his sexual identity with Catholic Christian faith and spirituality,”
Needless to say, my spouse and I disagree with the AUSCP statements and strongly agree with the Congregation for the Clergy. After all, our motto is “Assent to counter dissent”. And it follows that we would disagree with any of the approximately 1,200 members of AUSCP who concur with the statement made by their organization.
We do not believe in guilt by association. A priest could be a member of the AUSCP and not agree with the statement “authored by the association’s 12-member leadership team”. But priests like our Pastor who have participated in AUSCP events and have had their pictures taken at those events and published in multiple articles discussing AUSCP positions run an exceptionally grave risk. That risk is that they might be associated with AUSCP positions that they do not personally support.
As we noted other outlets have reported on this story about AUSCP. One of those outlets is ChurchMilitant.com. If you read the story Hundreds of U.S. Priests Want Gay Men Ordained, you will see a picture of our Pastor at an AUSCP function.
Until we learn otherwise, we will assume that our Pastor does not support this particular position of the AUSCP. Nevertheless, his picture has been linked to this story. And he, of course is priest in the Diocese of Arlington and the pastor of St. Peter Catholic Church in Washington, VA.
It appears that our Pastor has chosen the 1,200 priests of AUSCP to be his friends. That might have been a bad choice. That is why we have entitled this post “Be Careful Whom You Choose for Friends.”

For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2017-04-16

Here is Bulletin_2017-04-16

My wife and I must confess that we spent no time at St. Peter’s during the Easter Triduum. Unfortunately, Fre3d Capra had the “duty” and he attended all the services in our absence. He is slowly recovering at the Fauquier Hospital Severe Trauma Unit. Before he was admitted for care, however, he gave us a report scribbled on a crumpled St. Peter’s bulletin and a bulletin flyer. He stammered and sputtered something about his cell phone and handed it to us before he slipped into unconsciousness. The doctors have measured hopes that he will be released before Pentecost.

We have reviewed Fre3d’s notes and examined his cell phone. The following is the best we could piece together. Please forgive the lack of coherence and consistency.

Same Easter, Same Diocese – Different Understandings: Fre3d had drawn a smiley face next to a portion of Bishop Burbidge’s Easter letter and underlined one phrase that apparently brought him some comfort:

“What the world saw as a defeat on Calvary was revealed instead to be the source of our hope and gladness. The power and glory of God transformed the crucifixion of Jesus into the source of our freedom from sin and death. The empty tomb shows us that Jesus has opened for us the way to life eternal.”

On the Pastor’s Piece section of the St. Peter’s bulletin, Fre3d had drawn a number of sad faces. Two of them appeared near the highlighted text below:

“As we celebrate the resurrection of the Lord at Easter, our church is filled with color. I pray every day for each member of our parish that all our hearts are also filled with all the colors of God’s love. God’s love raised Jesus to life and God’s love is raising us to life.”

At the first highlight, Fre3d made a note saying “See my pictures!” There he drew a mad face. At the second highlight, Fre3d asked the question, “What the heck does that mean?”

St. Peter’s in Pastels: When we checked Fre3d’s phone we found a number of pictures. We will share some of them with you. Viewers’ discretion is strongly advised due to our Pastor’s warning in the Pastor’s Piece “our church is filled with color“. He was certainly being honest. Indeed, St. Peter’s is now filled with and overflowing with what Father would call “color“.

Yes, it is filled with colors. Wondrous pastels abound – pinks and greens, yellows and even oranges. These are the colors our Pastor thought would help to stir in our souls a vision of “all the colors of God’s love“. But, in Fre3d’s mind and in our minds we were stirred to think of something entirely different.

There he was. In the vestibule, it was Peter Cottontail himself posing next to Bishop Burbidge. It was as if Peter C. was saying to the Bishop, “This is St. Peter’s. We love our “colors” and this is the way we celebrate Easter here at St. Peter’s. Care for an Easter egg or perhaps some Peeps, Your Excellency!”

 

Christ is risen!! He is risen indeed!!

 

 

 

 

 

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